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Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassing great revelations, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Since September 15, 2000, I have sent out 2088 issues of the Daily-E-Votional. As the subscriber list has grown, it has expanded from our local area to cover the entire globe. As I pray each day for God’s direction as to what to share, I pray that the words will touch a heart that is in need at the time they read it.

Yesterday I wrote about the turmoil I had experienced several years ago. I had no idea that so many of you have had, or are right now, experiencing conflicts. Many of you have responded that you also are dealing with this issue. It is true for people of all ages and in all parts of the world. Please be assured that God is in control of your life!

It occurs to me that it is possible to rush to help when we see our loved ones experiencing some these problems in their life. Some refer to it as taking up another's offense. I feel that it is well and good that we consider this vital concept.

It is a natural reaction to rush to the aid of those of our loved ones and friends who are the targets of false accusations. In some instances we are able to give them comfort and assurance. The problem is that we sometimes fail to pray and seek God's purpose in the matter. God may be allowing these individuals to endure hardship in order to bring about His glory in the midst of their pain. I know that flies in the face of some of those who want every discomfort and pain removed immediately.

I have kept this comment from a dear friend from college days, Roy Croskrey. His words are brief but explode with spiritual impact: "When you cease to bleed, you cease to bless!" Wow! It gives new meaning to the ordeals we encounter in life.

In our Scripture for today, Paul shares that he was given a thorn in the flesh. I have heard some who have tried to guess what that thorn was. If it was important we would have been told. By his not naming the thorn we are better able to relate to the thorn that we may have in our own life. I guess you might say; "The type of thorn does not matter---any old thorn will do! The important thing is not the thorn but the Christ who uses the thorn.”

This is why it is so essential that we spend much time in prayer, asking God how we should pray. We are too guilty of telling God what to do, instead of listening for His voice. Once Paul learned the secret of the thorn, he could see that the Lord's strength and power was made perfect in his weakness.

We may strive to be perfect and have it all put together, but remember the secret of the thorn. It is in our weakness that the Lord's strength is demonstrated. Paul was so excited about this discovery that he began to delight in his weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties. Why? Because it was then that Christ could be seen more clearly. It is not a call to a persecution complex. It is the presenting of our body to the Lord as a living sacrifice. Holy and acceptable unto Him as our normal act of worship.

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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